DCSIMG

Banned Scott Brown joins Celtic in Amsterdam

Celtic players gather at Glasgow airport this morning before boarding their flight to Amsterdam. Picture: SNS

Celtic players gather at Glasgow airport this morning before boarding their flight to Amsterdam. Picture: SNS

  • by DAVID GUNN
 

BANNED Celtic captain Scott Brown has travelled with the squad to Amsterdam this morning and assistant manager Johan Mjallby says his presence alone can inspire his team-mates in tomorrow night’s crucial Champions League clash against Ajax.

Trio Georgios Samaras, Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig have also travelled with Celtic. Samaras (knee) and Commons (hamstring) both missed Saturday’s Scottish Premiership game against Dundee United, while Lustig came off the bench having been troubled by a hip problem.

All three players will be assessed at training this evening ahead of the clash in Amsterdam.

Asked if they will be fit to start, Mjallby said: “They should be. They are in the squad. We have to wait until tonight and we will watch them in training.

“It looks good. They are important players for us.”

Despite being suspended, club captain Brown also travelled to offer his support.

Mjallby added: “It’s disappointing Scott isn’t allowed to play. He’s our skipper. He’s the skipper of the team and he’s very important in the dressing room.

“He’s in great form and he has been playing really well for us this season. It’s good for us to have a look at him in training as well.”

Pivotal

Speaking before Celtic headed to the Netherlands, manager Neil Lennon is convinced his side can create chances at the Amsterdam Arena in their “pivotal” Champions League clash.

Celtic moved above Ajax and into third place in Group H when they beat the Dutch side 2-0 at Parkhead in their most recent European encounter.

Lennon believes his side have a good chance of repeating the win if they can match their other away performance in the group, which saw them concede two goals to AC Milan despite coming close to scoring an opener themselves.

Lennon said on Celtic’s official website: “The game in Amsterdam is pivotal. It’s a huge game and we started working on it - the team selection and the way we’ll play - as soon as Saturday’s game finished.

“If we can play like we did in Milan, then we’ve got a good chance. But you can never predict these games. Ajax are a class side, very fluid with the ball and they will create chances, but I think we can create chances too.

“We’ll have to be positive, and to get something out of the game would give us a great chance in the last two games.

“I think the atmosphere will be fantastic, but it’s the Champions League and I don’t think the players need any extra incentive to play there.”

 

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